Brides With a Vibrant Color Palette Host a Boho Wedding at 701 Whaley in Columbia, South Carolina
“Our friendship started in 2019 with a girl’s night out, a glass of sweet red and a t-shirt that said Free Hugs,” laughs Ebony Strudwick. She and Gillian Porterfield hit it off immediately, indulging in a night filled with “lots of laughs, looks and lively entertainment.” At the night’s end, Ebony wrote her number on a napkin and handed it to Gillian without a word. After months of friendship and getting to know one another deeply, they struck up a relationship.
A couple of years later, after a terrible day, Ebony was looking forward to unwinding with her girlfriend. “I literally had the worst day at work; I just broke a nail, needed my hair done and was starving! I did NOT expect a proposal, nor was I ready, but who is ever really ready, right?” the bride laughs. Seated at a restaurant they frequent, Ebony noticed Gillian’s anxious behavior. “I started asking if she was okay, but my attention was then caught by a very pretty dessert dish, not realizing it was coming straight to our table! Gill tried her hardest to get her proposal speech out that she had planned but was utterly speechless.” Luckily, the dessert did the talking for her—the plate had “MARRY ME” spelled out. Through tears, Ebony accepted.
While designing their September, autumnal wedding, the brides agreed the most essential element of the day would be their authenticity. “We knew we wanted it to represent us,” shared Ebony. “The color palette was easy—Hunter green is Gillian’s favorite color, and burnt orange was my late grandmother, Mary Jane’s, favorite color. As for the accent colors, we both love ivory, and my favorite color is pink.” With their hues in mind, they created a bohemian-chic event infused with love.
Guests walked through elegant drapery into the indoor ceremony space and found their seats on Chiavari chairs facing inward toward the aisle instead of toward the hexagonal arches at the altar. Ebony entered the room in an off-the-shoulder gown. “I wanted to go with something romantic, flowy and whimsical,” she reveals. “I am a big history buff, so when I saw the name of the dress was Juliet, I was sold before putting it on. The train was layered with different design patterns, leading to a fully floral laced sweetheart bust and back with lace draping.” Her beloved picked out a chic outfit, also in an ivory hue. “Gillian wanted something very feminine for the ceremony, so she went with a low-cut blazer, tailored pants and a sheer train with lace trim.”
Following the sweet “I dos” and with the vows exchanged, friends and family filtered into the reception space as the newlyweds and their wedding party took fun photos together. Ebony’s side wore orange, Grecian-inspired gowns, and Gillian’s friends sported stylish green suits. As the group posed, attendees took their seats at long or round reception tables with a neutral, ivory-and-champagne color palette. “The vision we had was romantic and timeless. We went with soft ivory linen on the tables, scalloped wooden chargers and ivory-embossed plates accompanied by rose gold flatware, burnt orange napkins and wooden carvings of our last name. There were tiered candleholders with lit floating candles everywhere and raised rose gold stands full of pampas grass,” Ebony describes. Pampas grass was the star of the decor, giving the space a textured, warm feeling.
Regarding the planning process, the new Mrs. and Mrs. Porterfield have advice for future brides and grooms—for their wedding days and beyond. “We would say to stay calm and don’t sweat the small stuff: everything will work itself out. Enjoy each and every moment leading up to your wedding because once the day comes, it is over before you know it. Most importantly, never stop dating, love each other and live happily ever after.”